Wednesday April 17, 2024

Heads of Sindh’s three opposition parties defeated by PPP candidates

By Imdad Soomro
February 10, 2024

In an interesting development in the 2024 general elections in Sindh, the heads of three major nationalist parties of the province -- Syed Zain Shah of the Sindh United Party (SUP), Dr Qadir Magsi of the Sindh Taraqqi Pasand Party (STPP) and Ayaz Palijo of the Qaumi Awami Party (QAT) -- contested polls from Shaheed Benazirabad, Tando Muhammad Khan and Hyderabad with the support of the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) but all three lost with big margins to PPP candidates.

Supporters of the Pakistan-Peoples Party (PPP) gathered around a truck. — AFP/File
Supporters of the Pakistan-Peoples Party (PPP) gathered around a truck. — AFP/File

The PPP’s Asif Zardari, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Malik Asad Sikdnar, Dr Mahesh Malani, Syed Khursheed Shah, Ayaz Shah Sherazi, Ghulam Mustafa Shah, Sadiq Memon, Pir Syed Fazal Shah, Dr Nafisa Shah and Salahuddin Junejo won the National Assembly seats with big margins, each polling over 100,000 votes.

Though there was no big upset witnessed in Thursday’s elections in the province, there were some unexpected results, including that of Jacobabad where former Senate chairman and former caretaker prime minister Muhammad Mian Soomro, who was contesting against Mir Aijaz Khan Jakhrani of the PPP in NA-190, lost the contest.

Soomro was contesting as an independent candidate this time (formerly he won the same seat on the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s platform) and had the support of all the other opposition parties, including the GDA and the JUI-F, and PPP’s disgruntled leader and former provincial minister Mumtaz Jakhrani.

In the Khairpur district, Syed Qaim Ali Shah and his daughter Dr Nafisa Shah of the PPP won the elections, while Pir Sadruddin Shah Rashidi and Syed Ghous Ali Shah of the GDA lost their contests.

In a major upset, Pir Sadruddin, the younger brother of Pir Pagara, lost the battle for NA-203 of the Khairpur district against Syed Fazal Shah Jilani of the PPP.

In same district from NA-204, former GDA MPA Moazzam Ali Abbasi from Larkana, who had previously defeated Jameel Soomro, political secretary of PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, lost to Pir Javed Ali Shah Jilani of the PPP.

In Naushehro Feroze, NA-206, GDA candidate Ghulam Murtaza Khan Jatoi lost to PPP candidate Zulfikar Ali Behan.

In District Sanghar, which was considered among the strongholds of the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F), Shazia Marri of the PPP retained her seat for the third time by defeating Mohammad Khan Junejo, chief of the Junejo clan and a candidate of the GDA.

Former MNA on reserved seat of women Saira Banu of the GDA, who was contesting for NA-209 of District Sanghar against Salahuddin Junejo, also lost.

In District Matiari, Bashir Ahmed Memon, former FIA director general and provincial chief of the PML-N, lost the electoral race against the chief of the Sarwari Jamaat and key leader of the PPP, Makhdoom Jamiluz Zaman. However, Memon secured above 80,000 votes in his first contest against the heavyweight.

In the desert district of Tharparkar, former chief minister Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim was defeated by the PPP’s Dr Mahesh Kumar Malani.

In NA-211 Mirpurkhas, former MNA Pir Ali Nawaz Shah lost to Pir Aftab Shah Jilani of the PPP.

In NA-223 Badin district, Mohammad Hassam Mirza lost to Haji Rasool Bux of the PPP. Earlier in 2018 this general seat was won by Dr Fehmida Mirza, the mother of Hassam, who had grabbed this seat for the record five consecutive times.

In NA-196 Qambar Shahdadkot, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari defeated with a big margin the JUI-F’s Maulana Nasir Mahmood Soomro.

In the Larkana district, which is a conventional hub of the PPP, GDA General Secretary and senior political leader Dr Safdar Abbasi lost the contest to the PPP’s Nazeer Bhughio in NA-195. In the NA-194 constituency of Larkana, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari defeated the JUI-F’s Maulana Rashid Mahmood Soomro with a big margin.

In NA-192, a constituency of Shikarpur that has some portion of Kashmore included in it, Shabir Bijarani of the PPP defeated Dr Ibrahim Jatoi, a senior politician who had recently joined the JUI-F.